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Molecular Breeding

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 289–298 | Cite as

Increased glycine betaine synthesis and salinity tolerance in AhCMO transgenic cotton lines

  • Huijun Zhang
  • Hezhong Dong
  • Weijiang Li
  • Yi Sun
  • Shouyi Chen
  • Xiangqiang Kong
Article

Abstract

Glycine betaine is an osmoprotectant that plays an important role and accumulates rapidly in many plants during salinity or drought stress. Choline monooxygenase (CMO) is a major catalyst in the synthesis of glycine betaine. In our previous study, a CMO gene (AhCMO) cloned from Atriplex hortensis was introduced into cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) via Agrobacterium mediation to enhance resistance to salinity stress. However, there is little or no knowledge of the salinity tolerance of the transgenic plants, particularly under saline-field conditions. In the present study, two transgenic AhCMO cotton lines of the T3 generation were used to study the AhCMO gene expression, and to determine their salinity tolerance in both greenhouse and field under salinity stress. Molecular analysis confirmed that the transgenic plants expressed the AhCMO gene. Greenhouse study showed that on average, seedlings of the transgenic lines accumulated 26 and 131% more glycine betaine than those of non-transgenic plants (SM3) under normal and salt-stress (150 mmol l−1 NaCl) conditions, respectively. The osmotic potential, electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulation were significantly lower in leaves of the transgenic lines than in those of SM3 after salt stress. The net photosynthesis rate and Fv/Fm in transgenic cotton leaves were less affected by salinity than in non-transgenic cotton leaves. Therefore, transgenic cotton over-expressing AhCMO was more tolerant to salt stress due to elevated accumulation of glycine betaine, which provided greater protection of the cell membrane and photosynthetic capacity than in non-transgenic cotton. The seed cotton yield of the transgenic plants was lower under normal conditions, but was significantly higher than that of non-transgenic plants under salt-stressed field conditions. The results indicate that over-expression of AhCMO in cotton enhanced salt stress tolerance, which is of great value in cotton production in the saline fields.

Keywords

Glycine betaine Choline monooxygenase Salt stress AhCMO transgenic cotton 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research was supported financially by a Project for cotton (nyhyzx07-005-02) from Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. We also gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Agricultural Seed Industrialization Foundation of Shandong Province (2005-cotton), and the High Innovation Fund (2006YCX009) from Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences. We thank Prof. A. E. Eneji of China Agricultural University for critical reading of the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huijun Zhang
    • 2
  • Hezhong Dong
    • 1
  • Weijiang Li
    • 1
  • Yi Sun
    • 3
  • Shouyi Chen
    • 4
  • Xiangqiang Kong
    • 1
  1. 1.Cotton Research Center, Shandong Key Lab for Cotton Culture and PhysiologyShandong Academy of Agricultural SciencesJinanChina
  2. 2.Cotton Research InstituteShanxi Academy of Agricultural SciencesYunchengChina
  3. 3.The Agriculture Biotechnology Research Center of Shanxi ProvinceTaiyuanChina
  4. 4.Institute of Genetics and Developmental BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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